Surviving At Stanford

Chapter 4

January

-Carrie's POV-

Collecting the mail, something caught my eye amongst the stack. Removing the elastic band, I took out the letter addressed to me and proceeded to open it.

'Dear Carrie,

we are holding a service at the church on the 15th February as a memorial to Wolfe. You are welcome to come along, as in my eyes, you were one of the reasons that we had Wolfe for as long as we did. You were a friend to him even after he broke the news to you, and I appreciate that. I have enclosed the details with this letter.

Mark'

Wiping the table with the cloth, the door of the cafe opened and in walked a group of students from my English class. I picked up the glasses and placed them on the tray before walking off into the kitchen and washing them. Once finished, I then walked back in and reluctantly over to their table.

One of them looked up, noticing it was me.

"Carrie."

I took my notepad out and a pen. "You ready to order?"

Another one of them looked round at the cafe, turning his nose up at it. "You work here?"

"Yeah well some of us actually have to work to keep their place here."

"Awwww..." The guy pouted mockingly. "Did Mommy and Daddy not give you any money?" He asked in a stupid voice.

"I heard from Keith that her and that Winchester kid didn't go home for Winter break." He stated. "Did the rents not want you?"

"No, cause' they're deady." Another of them laughed.

I could feel myself getting angrier and angrier.

"Aww, what's an orphan doing at Stanford?"

"What, so orphans can't achieve anything in life?" I asked, biting my tongue to try and stop myself from just punching the crap outta' them.

They laughed.

"Johann Sebastian Bach, Julius Caesar, Nelson Mandela, Steve Jobs, Louis Armstrong, Marilyn Monroe, John Lennon, Ella Fitzgerald, William Wordsworth, Eleanor Roosevelt, Edgar Allan Poe, J. R. R. Tolkien..." I paused. "Should I continue?"

That shut them up.

"Now are you going to order something or what?"

At the end of my shift, the boss called me over.

"Carrie, I've had some complaints in from customers about your attitude." He stated.

"Were they by any chance around my age and in here earlier in a group of about five?" I asked, knowing exactly who were behind the complaints.

"Comments from our customers are anonymous." The boss stated. "Anyway, I'm sorry to have to say this, but I'm gonna' have to let you go."

My eyes widened as I began to shake my head. "No, please. I really need this job."

"That's not my problem I'm afraid."

Taking off my waist apron and badge, I handed them over to him before walking out of the diner.

Sat in my English class, Ruth (the tutor), was talking about the last test we did.

"I've got your results, and I must say that they were disgusting. It's clear which of you have given it any effort and which of you simply thought that your intellect alone would mean that you would pass without the need for any revision. So..." She stuck it on the wall.

The bell rang.

Everyone rushed out of their seats and over to the list on the wall.

I grabbed my bag and walked over, unable to see the list because of the amount of people.

The talking suddenly died down. Everyone then turned to me with dropped jaws.

I furrowed an eyebrow and moved closer to look at the list.

'Carrie Singer - 100/100 - A++'

My eyes widened.

The others left, mumbling in annoyance as they did.

I was about to leave too, when Ruth spoke up.

"Carrie?"

I turned to her.

A smile lit up Ruth's face. "Well done, you really deserved it. Your practices have been amazing, so why shouldn't your submitted exam be the same. I've also heard that you're working in the diner down the road and that clothes shop on Main Street.

"Was..." I stated.

"What?" Ruth furrowed an eyebrow.

"I got fired from my job at the diner." I explained.

"Why?"

"Because some people in here really don't like me."

"And why's that?"

"Because they think I'm poor. To them I'm like this fleebag that they have to put up with everyday in their English class. They turn their noses up at me because I'm on a scholarship. They're all here because their parents were rich enough to just pay for all their tuition fees. At the diner yesterday, they tried to tell me that I didn't deserve to be here because I was an orphan. So I rattled off a list for them of orphans who went on to achieve greatness, and that soon shut them up."

"Carrie, you should report them you know. Bullying is not tolerated here at Stanford in any form." Ruth stated.

I shook my head. "They'll lose their places, I couldn't do that."

Ruth smiled. "You are too kind for your own good."

"I can deal with people like them, I have my whole life." I stated. "It's fine, honestly."

"You shouldn't have had to have gotten used to it in the first place." Ruth added. "Carrie, I want you to know that my door is always open in case you ever need anything. I know what it is like to come to Stanford on a scholarship without a parents added funding. Don't be afraid to ask if you are ever short of cash."

I shook my head. "I could never ask you for money."

She smiled. "I wish all my students were like you. Smart, polite and friendly with true values at heart. My job here at Stanford, is not just to teach you. It is also to help you, and guide you towards your next steps in life. When I attended here, many years ago, I had an English tutor who told me she could help out if I ever needed money too. Like you, I told her that she couldn't do that as it was her money, but as the semester unfolded, I found myself struggling to balance everything with the little money I had. She helped me, and I am still to do this incredibly grateful. If it was not for her, then I probably would've had to leave Stanford, and would never of gotten this job." She smiled again. "I see great determination in you. You're focused on what you want, and you won't give up until you've got there. You should be proud of your achievements, your test score has ranked amongst Stanford's greats. You should celebrate with Mr Winchester."

I smiled. "It's Sam."

"Sam." She corrected. "I'm sure he'll be anxious to hear your result."

I nodded. "Thank you."

"You're welcome, Sweetie." Ruth smiled.

Returning to the room later that night, Sam was sat anxiously on the top bunk of the bed. His long legs dangling over the side of the mattress.

I closed the door behind me and discarded my jacket on the back of the chair.

"So?" Sam asked.

I smiled. "I got full marks."

Sam's eyes widened before he lit up with pride and a beaming smile appeared on his face. Jumping down from the bunk, he rushed over and bundled me into a hug. "That's amazing! Well done."

"Thanks." I hugged him back.

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